The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded $47 million in federal stimulus money to 14 private projects aimed at making data centers more energy efficient. The grants will be matched by $70 million in private industry donations. The work being done in these projects will lead to data centers consuming less energy as well as possibly fueling job growth, says Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
"If you look at how energy is used in IT . . . at the component level, at the rack level, [it's important] to make them more energy efficient," Chu says. "It's essentially in all sectors of the IT industry. There are great gains to be had."
Data centers account for about three percent of the energy consumed in the United States, and if current trends continue, they could surpass the airline industry as the fourth largest producer of greenhouse gases in the country, according to Power Assure's Brad Wurtz. "Our goal is to double the energy efficiency in data centers within five years," Wurtz says. The projects also will examine the power supply chain to help reduce power loss and heat dissipation, which will help make the devices more energy efficient.
Other research areas include making servers and networking devices more efficient and creating software to optimize their energy use.
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